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France 24 | British, Dutch voters kick off European election | France 24
British and Dutch voters were the first to go to the polls in four days of European parliamentary elections, amid concerns of widespread rising euroscepticism and high abstention rates.

AFP - Four days of voting for the European Union parliament started Thursday with the continent's leaders braced for high abstention rates and protest votes which could boost extremist parties.

Britain and the Netherlands started 27 nation election in which 375 million people are eligible to take part. The turnout and the impact on national governments are the key stakes in the election.

Several extremist anti-EU right and left wing parties hope to pick up votes and even a few seats in the 736 member assembly.

by Fran on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 03:32:59 PM EST
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nrc.nl - International - Wilders big winner of Dutch EU elections
Geert Wilders and his populist Party for Freedom (PVV) appeared to be the big winners of Thursday's elections for European parliament in the Netherlands. Exit polls released soon after the Dutch voting stations closed at 9 p.m. on Thursday evening predicted he would get four of the 25 Dutch seats in the European parliament, making the PVV the second largest of all Dutch parties in Brussels.


The other party in the Netherlands to be strengthened by these elections is the left-wing liberal - and most outspoken pro-European party in the Netherlands - D66. It grew from one to three seats in the European parliament. The boost for these two parties showed that Dutch voters are moving to the fringes of the political spectrum.

Labour, one of the three parties who make-up the ruling coalition government in the Netherlands, suffered a blow and lost four of its seven seats. The Christian democrats, prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende's party, looked set to retain five of their current seven seats.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 05:15:41 AM EST
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